Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

October 8, 2012

Stumptalk: Good and evil idea

CROSSVILLE — Following America’s winning independence from England, the task of forming a government and a system by which the new country could be operated was the next step. Part of the problem of governing was the lack of a monetary system. The world traded by using anything from bartering to a conglomeration of different monetary systems. Some of our leaders preferred the English system and others the Spanish system. Both were considered to be a bit overly complicated, at least to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson proposed simply using the dollar like the Spanish did, but instead of dividing it into fractional parts — half’s, quarters, eighths, etc. — why not divide it into decimal parts. Good idea! And it spread so that today every country on earth uses a decimal monetary system.

At the same time, the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, stated that English creditors could sue deadbeats in American courts for money owed. The rule was that the loser paid all the legal fees. Fair enough? To make it more difficult for these suits, the states passed their own law, The American Rule, which stated that each side paid their own legal fees. This rule lessened the likelihood of foreign lawsuits. Okay so far, I guess.

Then came the '60s and the ethics of the legal profession changed abruptly. For every malpractice suit filed in 1960, there are 300 filed today. Whether the suits are filed against doctors, manufacturers or any other entity, the message is the same. Pay us what we want up front or we will tie you up in court and cost you much, much more, in effect extortion.

Many lawyers contend that they are merely policing the marketplace and causing better practices. But, wait, isn’t that what government is supposed to do as per rule of law? Is this not a conflict? The trial lawyers defend the outdated American Rule fiercely. Also, they make more political donations than any other group except unions, and the lion’s share of that goes to the democrats, just as with the unions.

The American Rule is such an evil idea that it has spread nowhere else in the world. Nada, Zippo! This is the result of the easily recognizable fact that these lawsuits create nothing except a pay day for trial lawyers. Money awarded goes from one hand to another with a lawyer taking his cut off the top.

The upshot of all this is how badly we need tort reform in this country. When Texas instituted their tort reform, medical malpractice insurance costs fell about 25 percent and doctors began to stream into the state. Perhaps we should advise our political “leaders” of these facts and demand they correct the situation or change the party for which we vote.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Time for an oil change

    The land of Iraq, earlier known as Mesopotamia, has a long history going back to Neanderthal times some 60,000 years ago. Later, around 10,000 years ago, it became the site for some of the most important developments in human history: the invention of the wheel, planting of cereal crops, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture. Today it is recognized as one of the cradles of civilization.

    July 8, 2014

  • We the People: American women, be informed and vote

    Voting for today’s Republican Party and its Tea Party members, means you are voting against more than most realize.  This is especially true for women.

    July 8, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014